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The CHANGE Issue: aAh! launches new print magazine and #StudentSupportUkraine campaign

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Featured image: Lisa Da Silva/aAh! Magazine


“Change is both beautiful and terrifying, it can be the worst thing imaginable or the dream for the future” – aAh! Student Editorial Assistant Robbie Drepaul


Manchester Metropolitan University’s arts and culture student magazine aAh! has launched its sixth print issue: The CHANGE Issue.

This latest issue brings together writers, editors, photographers, graphic designers and artists to explore the theme of ‘change’ through long-form features, interviews, opinions, creative writing, artwork and more.

aAh! set out to ensure that it could do the theme justice, inviting contributors to interrogate, reimagine and deconstruct the concept of ‘change’ in a series of online meetings and writing workshops. All Manchester Met students were then invited to pitch ideas and submit their own work to be considered for publication.

Journalism lecturer and student media coordinator, Natalie Carragher, said: “This latest issue brings together the work of over 40 students – the largest group of students working on a single print magazine to date.”

As the team collaborated during on-campus and online workshops, the theme became ever more timely. Not only did they need to modify and adapt their ideas as the project developed, but due to the crisis in Ukraine, they felt it was important to highlight the issue and support those in need.

Photography: Lisa Da Silva/aAh! Magazine

Last minute additions came in the form of a ‘Letter from Ukraine’ feature and included a remote interview conducted via Telegram with a student in Ukraine alongside an interview with a Russian exchange student studying in Manchester.

‘The theme has permeated itself within this issue until the very last second, as we reckon with the special addition of features focussing on the crisis in Ukraine. From personal stories of growth and strength to exposės on the evolving social and technological era we live in, aAh! highlights every aspect of our titular theme and creates a dialogue surrounding many important topics.’

Editor’s Letter: Robbie Drepaul introduces The CHANGE Issue

Both pieces were finalised just days before the magazine’s print deadline: “It’s a testament to the students involved to be able to produce high-quality work to professional deadlines,” said Drepaul.

Carragher added: “The team have worked together to produce a series of powerful features, including interviews with students living in Ukraine during the conflict, with the support from our international exchange students who have made these connections possible.

“This issue is an integral part of the new #StudentsSupportUkraine campaign and it has enabled us to bring together students to have their voices heard and make a real difference.”

Formally launched in this issue, the #StudentSupportUkraine campaign aims to help students take action, coordinate fundraising events to support humanitarian aid, and raise awareness of misinformation and disinformation.

The campaign will see the aAh! team embark on a series of fundraising activities over the summer including a #StudentsSupportUkraine 5K Challenge. Supporters will walk, run or cycle 5k each and make a £5 donation, with the aim of raising £2300 – the approximate distance in km from Manchester to Kyiv.

Other topics featured in The CHANGE Issue include the rise of Zoom dysmorphia in young people, experiences of women in the music industry, changing perspectives of subtitles and foreign cinema to shifts in attitudes to veganism. It also uncovers changes happening in our city to changes happening to our climate.

Photography: Jacob Charlton/aAh! Magazine

The team celebrated the latest issue with a launch party at student-favourite venue YES. For some team members, the occasion was the first time they met each other in person, rather than through a screen following hybrid and online working to collaborate on the publication.

Drepaul went on to say “It’s a strange feeling actually holding the first physical copy of the CHANGE issue. Seeing all of our hard work, seeing all the long hours we put in, just seeing it… I couldn’t be more proud of everyone involved.”

The CHANGE Issue of aAh! offers readers the chance to see how these changes in the world are affecting young people and their solutions, a perspective that is often overlooked in other media.

Each issue of aAh! magazine interrogates one word which runs as a theme through its regular features, opinion pieces, spotlights, interviews, previews, art, poetry, flash fiction, photography and music.

Photography: Laufey Gudnadottire/aAh! Magazine

Pick up your copy of aAh! – The CHANGE Issue on the Manchester Met campus or read online.


Take Part in #StudentsSupportUkraine 5K Challenge

Get active and raise money for Ukraine!

We are calling on all students (and friends) to join our #StudentsSupportUkraine 5K Challenge.

Walk, run or cycle 5K, donate £5 and tag 5 friends to do the same.

We want to raise £2,300 – the distance from Manchester to Kyiv in km – and raise vital funds to support Ukraine humanitarian aid charities.

Be sure to tag #StudentsSupportUkraine on social media – posting your efforts, your journey or your distance tracker as well as tagging your friends and challenging them to take part.

Put on some trainers and go out there to make a difference.

100% of the money raised will go directly to Care International to help efforts in Ukraine.

More information can be found on the MMU Union Website.


Get Involved

For more information about opportunities to be part of your student magazine, visit aAh! Work With Us

About the author / 

Esther Roberts

MFA Creative Writing / Editor / Consumer of Media

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